Celtics

Marcus Smart the peacemaker? That's the story to Brad Stevens

Marcus Smart the peacemaker? That's the story to Brad Stevens

ORLANDO — Celtics coach Brad Stevens said we were all focused on the wrong guys when Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown got into a flareup on the Boston bench during Thursday’s loss in Miami.

"I looked at it as, everyone else was watching Marcus Morris and Jaylen, how about [Marcus] Smart breaking it up?” said Stevens. "Talk about growth, holy smokes, I thought he’d be in the middle of one of those. That was pretty good. You guys all looked at it as a negative, I could not believe what I was seeing.”

Stevens downplayed the incident between Morris and Brown, which was captured on video by a fan near the Boston bench and spread widely on social media. Smart stepped in front of Brown to prevent further escalation as Morris shoved Brown while frustrated by Brown’s lack of effort in getting back on defense a short time before the timeout.

"I think when you’re part of a team for 82 games, it’s not that big of a deal,” said Stevens. "I mean, been through a lot of different teams, some of which have taken time to become a team, some of which have been a team from Day 1, and they’ve all had moments like that at one time or another whether the cameras were on or not.”

Smart has had his share of heated moments on the bench, including when he got into an argument with assistant coaches and was removed from the bench during a loss in Washington back in January 2017.

Smart, the longest-tenured member of the Celtics, has grown into a leadership role, largely with his effort level on the court.

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Breakfast Pod: After apparent departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, what's next for the Celtics?

Breakfast Pod: After apparent departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, what's next for the Celtics?

The draft is a few days away and NBA free agency opens at the end of the month, but it seems like the Celtics have undergone a transformation the past few days.

1:17 - Chris Forsberg joins the BST crew to discuss the surprising reports that Al Horford will not return to Boston next season.

7:43 - Jackie MacMullan stops by Early Edition to talk about the reports that Kyrie Irving is ghosting the Celtics as well as how Gordon Hayward may have played a role in the Celtics chemistry struggles.

13:20 - Brian Scalabrine calls into BST to give his thoughts on the Celtics potentially losing both Al Horford and Kyrie Irving this summer.


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Marcus Smart seems ready to take over starting point guard duties from Kyrie Irving

Marcus Smart seems ready to take over starting point guard duties from Kyrie Irving

It's a near certainty at this point that Kyrie Irving is leaving the Celtics to sign elsewhere, and even though it's not official yet, Marcus Smart seems ready to take over the starting point guard duties. 

In a season marred with inconsistencies from the Celtics on the court, Smart was a steadying presence on both sides of the floor. He was named to the NBA's First All-Defensive Team and shot a career-high 36.4 percent from three to go along with his all-around contributions on offense. Smart started 60 games for the Celtics as an off-guard this past season after he was used primarily as a sixth man in the previous two seasons.

With Irving's likely departure and Terry Rozier's upcoming restricted free agency, it may seem like the Celtics have an obvious hole to fill at starting point guard. Not so fast. Smart has shown he is more than capable of being the lead ball handler for Brad Stevens and the Celtics could certainly use as much of his infectious energy as possible at this point. 

What could be the most important part of Smart's tweet is that on a night where the Celtics were suddenly at a real risk of losing Irving and Al Horford at the start of free agency, Smart gave Celtics fans something to smile about. 

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